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Local counselling agency receives thousands from women's event

TRURO - Paula Weaver had to take a moment to let a substantial blessing sink in.

Paula Weaver of Archway Counselling was thrilled her organization was chosen as the recipient of more $17,000 on Tuesday.

Archway Counselling Association was chosen as the non-profit organization to receive $17,300 during Tuesday night's 100 Women Who Care event in Truro.

"This is very humbling," Weaver, a therapist at Archway Counselling, told the Truro Daily News shortly after receiving the news.

"I was very surprised. At first I was stunned, then I was ecstatic ... when good people get together great things happen."

Weaver was one of three people who gave a five-minute presentation to more than 400 women from Truro and Colchester County about why her organization was in need of the funds, which were gathered by the combined efforts of 173 individuals and teams.

In her speech, Weaver said the counselling service offers professional family, couples and individual counselling at reduced and affordable prices without compromising quality.

"Session fees only cover 50 per cent operating costs, leaving a daunting 50 per cent" left to fundraise because Archway isn't government funded.

Weaver also spoke about the organization's youth resource and drop-in centre, Slate, which offers young people numerous chances to socialize, learn new skills and celebrate their successes.

There are heartbreaking moments as well in which volunteers sit in emergency rooms with teens and their parents, go to funerals with youth and see young people "cut to pieces by their own razors ... and wrecked over broken relationships."

The other presenters were Jennifer Tucker-Johnston, with the Colchester SPCA, and Joanne McCallum, director of operations for the Truro Boys and Girls Club.

Tucker-Johnston highlighted how busy the Truro shelter is with more than 500 animals this year alone in their care. She also said 500 animals have gone to homes throughout the years and one goal of the shelter is to have more neuter and spaying programs.

McCallum discussed specialty programs, storm day and March break opportunities at the boys and girls club as well as having an average of 60 youth in the after-school program. Drop-in and educational programs were also highlighted.

Truro's Charmaine Borden attended the 100 Women Who Care event for the first time. She was impressed with the quality programs in the community and believes the fundraising and awareness event "is paramount" to making the community an even better place to live.

"It empowers us and the community and others in the community. It's about community literacy ... more people might want to volunteer or donate," Borden said.

The meeting also produced another piece of good news. Raj Makkar has stepped up to co-ordinate 100 Guys Who Give A Damn, the equivalent of the 100 women event.

"It's so amazing what can be accomplished," Makkar told the Truro Daily News, adding his wife is part of a 100 women team.

"My goal is to surpass the women's (total) ... guys are very competitive," he laughed, adding the men's event will probably take place in mid-2015, after the next women's gathering.

The fourth 100 Women Who Care event will take place March 3 at First United Church beginning at 5 p.m. with a reception. Presenters will be We Care About Cancer Fund, Alzheimer's Society of Nova Scotia and Third Place Transition House.

Twitter: tdnMonique


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